The enchanting Ellerman House

Posted on 24 December 2020

Quietly nestled in the foothill of Lion’s Head, where the sea meets the city and with endless views of the Atlantic Ocean, lies the enchanting Ellerman House.

This historic house-turned-hotel is an experience as top-tier as its location.

Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? Picture: Imogen Searra

Ellerman House opened in 1992 as a seven-bedroom luxury hotel. Over the years, it has transformed into a microcosmic representation of South Africa.

Arrival at the hotel includes a strict, contactless COVID-19 screening process, before being ushered in and taken on a tour of the magnificent property.

The interior walls are lined exclusively with South African artwork, showcasing our country’s rich artistic talent. The property also boasts an astonishing private collection that is something straight out of Zeitz MOCAA, William Kentridge included.

It’s difficult to move around because there is so much art to marvel over and appreciate. Picture: Imogen Searra

Ellerman House has many impressive amenities but their Wine Gallery arguably steals the show. Their Diners Club Diamond status awards, which the hotel has held for over a decade, attests to the superiority of the fermented grapes available here.

As you enter the Wine Gallery, a Terrior Wall is situated to the left. This unique concept is an ode to the Cape vineyards. Soil samples from 100 different wine farms were collected and immortalised into copper blocks and mounted on the wall opposite the Corkscrew. Created by Angus Taylor, the Terrior Wall is equally brilliant as it is fascinating.

Soil samples of L’ormarin and Haute Cabriere are pictured here, as well as their GPS coordinates. Picture: Imogen Searra

The Wine Gallery is a space for guests to interact with South African wines en masse, as well as to delve deep into the country’s 350-year history of winemaking.

Some of the alluring amenities within the Wine Gallery include the above-ground storage space crafted by Brian Steinhobel. Modelled after the humble corkscrew, the three-dimensional carbon fibre spiral wine racks house some of the finest South African wines.

The magnitude of the carbon fibre shelving is a sight to behold. Picture: Imogen Searra

There is a bronzed Pinotage vine situated above a cosy corner of the Wine Gallery, perfect for an evening of wine tasting.

Nothing about this space is random or coincidental. The time, planning and thought processing that has gone into every detail of the Wine Gallery is something to feel patriotic about in and of itself.

The Pinotage vine with roots and all, was disassembled into over 300 pieces before being bronzed and reassembled for the Wine Gallery. Picture: Imogen Searra

For the guests who want to learn about a favourite spirit among South Africans, there is a brandy lounge too. Above this area within the Wine Gallery is a Brandy Maturation Wall, designed by Lothar Böttcher and Angus Taylor.

From young to aged: The Brandy Maturation wall is another unique thought brought to life within Ellerman House. Picture: Imogen Searra

Migrating from the Wine Gallery back to the hotel’s terrace is similar to walk about in Wonderland. The plant species are mesmerizing and extraordinary. The pincushion proteas, yellow water lilies and spekboom galore are some of my feature-favourites. Like the artwork on the walls, the only plants growing here are endemic to South Africa.

Pincushion proteas in all their glory. Picture: Imogen Searra

One of the many blooming beautiful yellow water-lilies. Picture: Imogen Searra

After exploring the exterior of Ellerman House, you are then shown to your fabulous room. The chic, crisp interiors really brings home the luxuriousness of the hotel. Room Number 2 spills out onto a massive terrace overlooking the garden, pool and Sea Point in its entirety. Suppress your desire to give a royal wave at all costs.

A room with arguably the best view in Cape Town. Picture: Imogen Searra

The hotel is equipped with all the creature comforts of home but on another level. The snack bar is perfect for a midnight feast, the library is an ideal spot to finish off pressing work, the spa will leave you in dreamland and the high-tech gym is the ultimate place for yogis and HIIT fanatics alike.

The real highlight of staying at Ellerman House, above and beyond the amenities, is the incredibly kind and extraordinary workforce. From the time you arrive to the time you depart, you are made to feel like the most important person on Earth. There should be a new word invented for the way hospitality is managed here. The knowledge, professionalism and friendliness is unmatched and the hardest part of leaving, is saying goodbye to these incredible individuals.

The library is a dream come true for digital nomads. Picture: Imogen Searra

To book a stay at Ellerman House:

Email: [email protected]

Phone:  +27 21 430 3200


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